The race is on to find the next man to slip into that famous tuxedo. Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and most recently Daniel Craig have already cemented their status as British film icons thanks to their time spent playing the suave and smart-suited icon of cinema. The actor’s departure from the series was heavily speculated after 2015’s Spectre – the twenty-fourth Bond film and the Casino Royale star’s fourth outing. Since then, he ended up returning for a fifth and final movie – No Time To Die – which was released in cinemas last year. This time there is no coming back from that explosive ending. It’s time for a new Bond.
When Craig initially hinted he would not be back after SPECTRE, the public quickly backed Luther star Idris Elba to carry the torch. However, in recent years his status as the clear frontrunner has dwindled as newer faces have risen in the odds. The explosive action series also requires the next Bond to have staying power. With Bond actors often spending ten years or more in the role, at 49 years old Elba would potentially be turning 60 at the end of his run.
Over the past year, a younger talent arrived to shake-up the odds in the form of Bridgerton’s Rege-Jean Page. Anyone who watched Shonda Rhimes’ sexy period drama would attest to the Netflix star’s beguiling magnetism on screen. But all bets are off following the latest shocking news from UK bookies.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes has exclusively told the Express: “We’ve seen a huge move in the Bond betting this afternoon, and a flurry of bets have led to us slashing odds on Idris Elba, who now heads the betting once again for the first time in over a year.”
Currently Idris Elba has made a shocking re-emergence as the favourite, with odds at 7/2. But this is no one-horse race quite yet, as he is closely followed by Rege-Jean Page and Henry Cavill, both at 4/1. Next up, the two other perennial favourites Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tom Hardy sit at 6/1 and 7/1 respectively.
Is it wise to bank on Elba, or will he be snubbed in favour of a newer face? Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have spoken out recently about their plans for the franchise and its new leading man.
One man who has previous ecperirnce with the producers is Superman icon Henry Cavill, who narrowly missed out on the role to Daniel Craig in October of 2005. More recently, the star has passionately expressed his desire again for the role of a lifetime: “If Barbara [Broccoli] and Michael [G. Wilson] interested me in any capacity to be a part of their movies, then I will gladly have that discussion, and that would be something I’d be very keen to explore further.”
Cavill certainly has the looks and the style, but does he have enough of a brooding personality to play the next Bond? On the casting, Bond producer Barbara Broccoli said, “There isn’t a script and we can’t come up with one until we decide how we’re going to approach the next film because, really, it’s a reinvention of Bond. We’re reinventing who he is and that takes time… It’s a big decision. It’s not just casting a role. It’s about a whole rethink about where we’re going.”
As such, the direction of the series could take an even more dramatic turn in the coming weeks – but does age really have anything to do with it?
Sean Connery was just 29 when he originated the role on screen, and his portrayal is arguably the most beloved due to his interpretation being the closest to Ian Fleming’s source material – the British author even continued to write Bond novels after Connery’s Bond’s first appearance in Dr. No in 1962.
Roger Moore’s Bond began as a much older version than his previous iterations – he was 45 at the time of his debut in Live and Let Die – and he managed to hold the role for just over 12 years! With this in mind, perhaps Idris would be suitable after all, that is, if he manages to take time out of his busy DJing schedule.
In regards to his music career, Elba previously stated that: “I’ve been asked to do lots of collaborations. I did something with Milk, which is a great band and an odd collaboration. I’ve done stuff with Jay-Z on his album American Gangster, so there’s bits and pieces that I’m just going to keep moving forward with.”